The adtech industry is entering an era of rapid and constant innovation. With more and more brands continuing to increase their digital footprint, it is imperative marketers have the right solutions in place to deliver impactful customer experiences while simultaneously measuring campaign performance.
To gain a competitive edge, brands must anticipate customer needs and exceed consumer expectations at every step of the customer journey. This requires marketing teams not only have access to effective adtech tools but understand how best to implement those tools to create exceptional user experiences.
We spoke to Mateusz Jędrocha, Head of Upper Funnel Solutions at our partner RTB House, about how brands can leverage adtech to drive significant business results.
Oracle: How hard do martech and adtech companies have to work to understand individual users and their needs?
Mateusz: It’s a two-sided approach. We work incredibly hard at understanding different verticals and domains. There’s no such thing as an “average customer” anymore, only a range of personas in each vertical, which are also rapidly changing — such as the three main buyer types that we’ve identified in the Home & Garden sector in the last year. Our approach is to understand what companies need and whom they are speaking to with their campaigns.
However, when it comes to communicating with individual users during campaigns, we use Deep Learning technology to ensure any ad buying is done in the most efficient way. This is the most advanced form of AI currently available, capable of making around 4,000 times more calculations than even comparative machine learning tools.
Our algorithms can understand context and behavior to target people more effectively with less additional input. Essentially, during discussions with our client, we establish the goal first, and then we challenge our Deep Learning algorithms to deliver on that goal and find relevant patterns. In that sense, the hard work is done in advance, in gaining domain expertise and in building the technology.
Oracle: What should be top of mind for advertisers right now?
Mateusz: In one word: effectiveness. Brands are looking at a number of metrics and are conducting various studies to measure ad effectiveness, but scalable strategies tend to be the most effective ones. Companies want to maximize value from each dollar they spend on branding. For video advertising, it means brands are carefully monitoring things like the number of completed video views, the cost of reaching the audience, or how many ads were viewable. These results must be right in order for a campaign to be assessed as being effective, and, in many cases, they are also a great proxy for other brand-related metrics such as awareness or ad recall.
Oracle: Going beyond effectiveness, how can advertisers attract user attention in an over-saturated ad space?
Mateusz: To gain user attention, ads need to address changing consumer expectations. This is one of the points of constant innovation for any adtech company. We have dedicated teams who develop new ad types or help to evolve existing ones in line with general market trends: particularly focusing on upper-funnel solutions and video content.
We have a wide range of innovative ad formats. Some of them use mechanics known from social media (social banners), others emulate human-like conversations (chat banners) and provide entertainment through interactive banners for gaming. The key element for each is that they are modern, engaging, and capable of standing out in the saturated world of online advertising.
On top of different creatives, we also deploy Deep Learning algorithms learning with every new displayed impression. This allows us to build advertiser-specific models, which pick the right medium, content, and time to maximize ad impact.
Oracle: Why is programmatic advertising important if brands are using other marketing channels such as social media, email, and SMS?
Mateusz: I think a healthy marketing mix of any brand has to be balanced. All those marketing channels are different in their nature. In programmatic advertising, brands benefit from the user's readiness to learn something new when they browse the internet. This can help in avoiding ad fatigue or oversaturation.
Programmatic ad campaigns are also a great way to deliver communication in an effective way. This can be pure branding or performance campaign content which is somewhat similar to that on other channels, but it serves a slightly different audience and has different goals. Effective marketing teams know that these subtle variations in communication across channels actually make all the difference.
Our programmatic ads offer more touchpoints for brands while measuring ad quality and ensuring brand safety. It’s vital to use contextual brand safety tools that only allow you to display ads on websites that are safe and relevant for your brand.
Oracle: Google recently announced new developments in their Privacy Sandbox initiative. Prior to that, they also extended the timeline for third-party cookies’ expiration. Do advertisers need to be thinking about a cookieless future yet, or can they wait and see?
Mateusz: Businesses should already be planning for the future. In the US, close to 8
Given the complexity of the ecosystem, it’s extremely hard for agencies and brands to figure out how to operate in the cookieless world. At RTB House, we are actively participating in multiple initiatives, and our proposals are being implemented, e.g., in the latest FLEDGE proposal. We do our best to share the knowledge with our clients by organizing webinars and workshops, where we explain how to face the challenges posed by the changes. We are also sharing regular updates on our blog.
So yes, advertisers should definitely be testing cookieless solutions. It’s not only about letting go of some cookie-based data, but it’s also about embracing user privacy at every stage of managing useir data. In that sense, rather than working on third-party substitutes, we should jointly look for privacy-focused alternatives such as contextual ads or TopicsAPI recently introduced by Google.
What is more, Google recently announced that Privacy Sandbox will be expanded to the in-app environment. Contrary to Apple, which reduced the use of IDFA without providing any alternatives, Google’s approach seems to be promising, bringing benefits to three key stakeholders in the mobile economy: users, publishers and advertisers.
Learn more about Oracle Advertising and our adtech solutions.